Rangers Vs. Lightning: Bolts Cut Ranger Lead In Half, Trail 2-1 Heading To Third Period

March 2, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Commodore (23) goes after the puck as New York Rangers center Brian Boyle (22) defends during the first period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to win their second straight game since overhauling their defense at the trade deadline.

After two periods at Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Lightning trail the New York Rangers 2-1. The Eastern Conference leading Rangers jumped out to the two-goal lead early in the second period, as Marian Gaborik scored his 31st goal of the season with a power play strike that beat Mathieu Garon. Derek Stepan fed Gaborik and the Slovak ripped one from the center point.

But the Bolts would cut the Ranger lead in half when Tom Pyatt poked in a loose puck in front for his seventh goal of the season. Brett Connolly got the primary assist as his work in front deflected a shot headed at New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Connolly's knock down set up the opportunity for Pyatt, who was there to capitalize.

The Bolts have put consistent pressure on the Rangers so far but Lundqvist has been the difference. After 40 minutes, Tampa Bay has outshot New York 24-11. The Lightning will look to break through and even it up in the third.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, visit SB Nation's Lighting blog Raw Charge. For more on New York Rangers hockey, visit SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter. For all your hockey news, be sure to follow along at SB Nation's NHL hub.

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